Beacon Street Diary blog

Telling the Life Story of a Church

New Book Explores the History of Boston's New North Church

The Congregational Library and Archives would like to express our thanks to publisher and author Charles Chauncey Wells for donating a copy of his latest work New North Church : from birth to death in early Boston. The library houses an extensive collection of church histories and is pleased to add this latest volume on such an important and historic church to our shelves.

Exploring the evolution of social and religious thought in colonial Boston through the story of the New North Church, Mr. Wells and his coauthor Steven Fanning deftly reveal the rich, complicated, and at times tumultuous history of Boston. Surveying the period between 1713 and 1864, the book follows the New North Church as it evolves from its founding by Puritans, to its transformation into Congregationalism, and its further progression to Unitarianism.

As they relate the stories behind these changes, the authors introduce the many prominent members of the New North Church, detail the construction of new church buildings, and even recall an infamous story of murder and intrigue. The Executive Director of the Congregational Library and Archives, Dr. Peggy Bendroth, also makes a contribution, offering an analysis of the church's transition from Puritanism to Congregationalism.

With transcriptions of marriage, baptism, membership, and death records, along with facsimiles of important documents, New North Church : from birth to death in early Boston offers a wealth of relevant information for genealogical researchers and history enthusiasts alike. The library's copy is available for members to check-out, along with copies of Charles Chauncey Wells's previous books: Preachers, patriots & plain folks : Boston's burying ground guide to King's Chapel, Granary, Central and Boston's Copp's Hill Burying Ground guide.